BBG Watch Commentary

Magic Happens - BBG Watch reporting leads to VOA reporting on Pope Francis' statements on Syria.
Magic Happens – BBG Watch reporting leads to VOA reporting on Pope Francis’ statements on Syria.

The Voice of America (VOA) English news website can be hours or days late in posting important international and U.S.-focused news stories. Sometimes major news stories are not posted at all. VOA reporters have been complaining about it for several years and blaming the top management.

But as soon as BBG Watch points out a news reporting deficiency, at least in some cases the VOA English website corrects it, not right away but sometimes within a few hours.

It does not always happen within hours, however. Sometimes it does not happen at all.

Pope Francis made his appeal against the use of military force against Syria on Thursday. BBG Watch reported on VOA’s silence on this story. It took the VOA web team until late Saturday afternoon to finally say something about papal statements and actions on Syria — days and hours after all major international news media have been reporting on it extensively.

A Russia Today report on the Pope’s Syria stand got over 13,000 Facebook “Likes.” The VOA English website almost never gets more than a hundred “Likes” for its top news stories; often only between 5 and one, sometimes two dozen or so. BBC can also get thousands and tens of thousands of Facebook “Likes.” Al Jazeera English also gets hundreds and thousands.

As of late Saturday evening, the Voice of America English website was still not reporting on President Obama’s meeting Friday in St. Petersburg with Russian human rights activists. There is still no VOA English report on any State Department reaction to President Putin calling Secretary of State Kerry a liar on Syria.

But at least the Voice of America English news web team took notice of Pope Francis, albeit three days late.

Better late than never. Magic happens. BBG Watch will continue to watch the VOA website.

IBB Director Richard Lobo said in a press release that BBG networks, including the Voice of America, “Bring Comprehensive Syria Coverage To The Region And Beyond.”